Many Salinas, Calif. residents are livid over a video that shows police officers shooting and killing a man who was carrying gardening shears.
In the video (below), filmed and posted on Facebook by college student Yoanna Prieto, the police officers follow the male suspect in a slow foot pursuit for several of blocks before suddenly firing shots at him in a town intersection on Tuesday.
This was the second fatal shooting of a resident by Salinas police in 11 days and the third this year, noted the Monterey Herald.
Police claim they got a 911 call from an unidentified woman who said the suspect tried to kill her dog, exposed himself and attempted to get into her house.
The police arrived and, with guns drawn, slowly pursued the suspect on foot.
According to KSBW, the Salinas Police Department said in a statement, "As the suspect continued to ignore the orders of the officers, the suspect retrieved the gardening shears from his backpack. In an aggressive fashion, the suspect swung the gardening shears at the officers who were standing in close proximity and in danger of being stabbed or slashed. In response to this threat, two officers fired their weapons at the suspect."
However, Prieto says the male suspect did not attack the police officers, but appeared to be backing away from the cops the entire time. Angry residents filled a Salinas City Council meeting last night.
"Yes, we do have a gang problem and they're dressed in blue and they have badges and they're called the Salinas Police Department," one man told the City Council.
"I understand there's a lot of emotions and a lot of legitimate concerns," Police Chief Kelly McMillin said at the meeting. "We're working hard to gather the facts, and when we have the facts, we will present them."
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO AND LANGUAGE